I am using this series of posts to share my experience with others who want to start a monetised blog and, hopefully, to save them a lot of time.
Had I known what I know now, the framework for this website would have been finished in an hour and I could just have concentrated on the fun stuff: Publishing and promoting content!
I initially started this blog to share my experience and express my ideas. Along the way, I realised that having a website opens new opportunities as well. Indeed, having a monetised blog fits quite well with the principles of Monkeyism.
You can think of it as another form of passive income that works towards your financial independence and early retirement!
Obviously, I didn’t plan my early retirement based on online advertisement income from a blog. But since I am already writing a blog, I may as well use it to generate extra income. Earning money for doing something you like; how is that for a win-win situation?
Be Passionate About Your Topic
One of the main reasons most blogs die after a year or so is lack of motivation. Spending hours writing posts for only a handful of readers can be demotivating.
Getting public attention is very hard, especially at the beginning when no one is aware you exist. It takes a lot of time and effort to promote your content and if you are not passionate about what you write, you will eventually give up.
Thus, only start a blog if you are mentally prepared to publish posts that no one might ever read! You also need to be genuinely self-motivated about your chosen topic because readers can tell the difference.
If you only plan to start a blog so you can monetize it although you have nothing meaningful to say, very likely, no one will read it.
Find a Broad Topic
Inspiration is extremely important; it’s also one of the things many writers struggle with. It’s easier to come up with things to say if you have a wide-reaching topic that you can approach from many angles. It also makes it more likely that people will be interested in what you have to say!
When you decide about the topic area for your blog, think about all the different types of posts you might write – If you are struggling to come up with more than a handful of ideas, this isn’t the right topic for you. You will quickly run out of things to say. A narrow topic will also limit the amount of readers you can reach.
Write to Help People
A blog is used to express your opinion. However, people reading it will be looking for information they can use. Sharing your experience should aim at helping other people one way or another.
If readers don’t get any value out of the information you provide, they won’t come back. Most of your traffic will be coming from search engines, from people looking for answers to their personal situation.
So before you embark on this journey, are you sure readers will find your posts helpful or useful? People usually don’t like self-glorification, they actually want to read about themselves, not really about you.
Think first about what people want to read and not what you want to write. But if you can combine both, then you have found the perfect topic!
Research Similar Established Blogs
As you come up with a topic, very likely someone else is already writing in the same niche. You should therefore research and visit these websites to see how your contribution may differ. For instance, are you bringing a new perspective, is your information more relevant, etc…?
Ultimately, you will be competing with these blogs for the same readers. Given that these websites are already established with followers, you will need to find competitive advantages to get people interested in your newly created blog. If there are no visible differentiators, there are no reasons for readers to move away from the blogs they already enjoy.
Be Curious About Information Technology
You managed to browse the Internet and find this article; that means you already know a thing or two about the web; fortunately, it probably also means that you know enough to start a blog!
In fact, you can start a blog that looks like it’s been designed professionally without needing to write any lines of code in HTML, PHP, etc… Unless you really want to… You don’t need to be a computer science expert but having a genuine interest in IT will definitely help.
The nice thing is that the Internet has come a long way. Nowadays, everything can be built with a user interface, which translates the tough bits of code into easy-to-read fields that you simply populate with information. Easy as!
Of course, if you want to customise your blog or offer certain unique features (e.g. ebook, podcast, etc…), it will be an advantage to know a web language or be open to learning new IT tools.
In the following posts of this series, I will provide step-by-step instructions on how to create a blog from scratch, generate traffic, optimise online revenue and earn passive income. However, the above prerequisites are particularly important to keep in mind to avoid going down the wrong path.